Health, aged care workers taking on too much work
Australian health and aged care workers are working beyond their job description, at times even providing financial guidance, according to a new report from global HR think-tank Reventure.
Dr Lindsay McMillan, lead researcher at Reventure, said the female-dominated profession was at risk of being chronically over-worked and that an ageing population would exacerbate the problem.
“Aged-care workers are saying that on top of their everyday duties, they act as secretaries, a family support conduit, the roster data manager and even a financial guide,” Dr McMillan said.
“That is simply too much to ask of workers who already perform a physically and emotionally demanding job, and it is up to business leaders to make a cultural change in the workplace.
“In 50 years, one in five Australians will be over the age of 65. With an ageing population, the industry needs to better prepare the workplace to ensure employees are not exhausted.
“It is very important the industry continues to attract the right type of people; however, it will lose its appeal if there is an unhealthy workplace culture of overworking in the industry.”
In Australia, there are 960,000 health practitioners and aged-care professionals. The Health Services Union says 44% of workers are over the age of 55.
“Health and aged care is too important to get wrong. It is one of the few industries that cannot be replaced by artificial intelligence,” Dr McMillan said.
The Industry Insights report is the newest report to be published by Reventure as part of the national a future that works campaign. The report outlines challenges faced by five Australian industries — health and aged care, aviation, tourism and hospitality, professional services and education.
More information on the campaign can be found at www.afuturethatworks.org.au.
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